THE FIRST inkling people had of what lessons were learned in 2008 appeared in the book HRC. Those not familiar with Hillary Clinton during her State Deparment tenure got a glimpse. Now Mother Jones has taken the reporting a step further and shown what it could mean in practical political terms for 2016.
There are now 33 Students for Hillary groups nationwide. So far they’re recruiting the most die-hard activists to prepare for next fall, when they’ll blitz new students during orientation to build Hillary’s army. “I’ve been focused on identifying students on campuses who are interested in being part of this movement from the ground floor,” Schneider says. For Democratic-leaning students interested in a career in politics it’s a no-brainer: leading a Students for Hillary group will position them as prime contenders for low-level jobs in Clinton’s actual campaign. [Mother Jones]
From HRC, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who already have another book in the works on HRC that includes the run-up to 2016. They wrote the first book reporting what was happening inside Clintonworld that had been reported in the press, which would now become an extension of Hillaryland. Quietly, Doug Band was finally out, Chelsea Clinton in. From HRC:
The younger Clinton, thirty-one years old at the time, felt the foundation was in need of some serious housekeeping, if not housecleaning, sources familiar with the situation said, “Chelsea was involved in that effort,” said one foundation insider, “but rumors that have circulated that Chelsea was gonna come in and clean the place out and get rid of persons X, Y, and Z are inaccurate. I don’t think her behavior was any different than any kid who sees their parents’ business in need of some reorganization.”
What Mother Jones is reporting has been happening over many years, since 2008.
The first hint of what is now manifesting came through Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, which included a technological retooling of the agency that had never been done before.
Contrast the dismantling of State through budgetary lowering and foreign policy geared only to intervention in the Bush-Cheney era to HRC’s tenure. The difference is between HRC’s smart power versus GOP full military reliance as the only option, diplomacy completely discounted.
At State, HRC empowered younger aides to bold action, which the book HRC revealed in depth. This included the intervention of her staff in the Twitter update during Iran’s Green revolution, which came even as President Obama and the administration had a policy of non-engagement.
In her first five months at State, she had poured mental energy and resources into making sure that her operation was far more forward-leaning in its use of technology as a political tool than her 2008 campaign had been. If anything, Cohen’s Twitter-vention was a confirmation of the power of understanding and manipulating technology infrastructure. Not only was her innovation team a powerful tool at State, Hillary was keenly aware, according to associates, that technological superiority could become the force behind a second bid for the presidency. “The tools used to impact political movements abroad,” one Hillary adviser said, “can be leveraged just as easily domestically.”
During a tech squeeze targeting Syria’s Bashar al Assad, Secretary Clinton made it clear that technology was the front lines in any State Department she would run.
“Use me like an app,” [Secretary Clinton] said, eliciting a round of laughter. [HRC}
It was a very different Clinton, anyone willing to pay attention, saw at State. What she learned from 2008 is what turned her State Department tenure into a technological retooling, bringing diplomacy into the 21st century for the first time, something that was ignored by the Bush administration.
HRC would also stand steadfastly by both Alec Ross and Jared Cohen, who were at the center of her “21st Century Statecraft,” as was Anne-Marie Slaughter before she left the State Department, as well as her critics.
“We have a great team of really dedicated young people”” primarily young people”” who care deeply about connecting people up.”
In case the message hadn’t been received, Hillary crystallized it a moment later. “I’m very proud of the work they’re doing. They have been everywhere from Mexico to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Syria to Russia and every place in between.” [HRC]
Nothing is certain and no one has learned this more than Hillary Clinton, so whatever comes in 2016, you can bet it won’t be a repeat of 2008.
Republicans, be warned. This isn’t the ’90s.